Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM

Dura Pack Workers Must Mobilise to Engage Management in Struggles for Better

Dura Pack Workers Must Mobilise to Engage Management in Struggles for Better

Working Conditions and the Recall of Illegally Sacked/Locked-out Workers

By Chinedu Bosah

Given a series of anti-workers policies, workers were eager to engage the management of Dura Pack Lagos in struggle. On August 7, 2013 workers were charged to embark on strike action, but the leading workers, most of whom are foremen that were to lead in the strike action chickened out. Many of the workers had waited outside the gate in anticipation of an action but remained isolated as their leaders did not show up.

The Chinese management did not only issue threats to workers not to be part of the planned strike action but also positioned the Chief Security Officer of the company and a police officer at the gate to intimidate workers. However, the fact that the workers are not unionized partly weakened their capacity. Besides, the leadership of trade unions including the labour centres like Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) have surrendered their responsibilities of unionizing the workers at different workplaces. In fact, a trade union was approached by the workers and 50 of them signing up to become members of the union but the union leadership turned down workers request.

Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR) activists have been intervening since April 18, 2013 after a worker named Kenneth died out of electrocution due to lack of safety tools and measures. And subsequently, management embarked on policy of victimization that led to the locking out of Mr. Orji on June 18 and threat to other leading workers either through suspension or verbal threats. Orji was asked to sign a letter of resignation prepared by the management. Upon his refusal he was locked out and denied collection of his salary. CDWR has had several visits to the factory including distribution of leaflets on July 30, 2013 that was well received by workers. Many workers were happy after reading the leaflets and declared support for any action against the management. However, the lack of leadership to spearhead the struggle, especially in the absence of a trade union, has meant that the efforts to fight for improvement have not been successful.

Dura Pack management has no respect for Nigerian labour laws while the Ministry of Labour turns a blind eye. For instance, they work 12 hours a day. Worse still, it is a crime to sit down or talk to partner during the working hours! The basic salary is about N6, 400 per month, though there are allowances like transport, housing and overtime that could make the pay to be between N24, 000 and N25, 000. July 2013 salary was between N17,000 and N21,000 with no explanation for the reduction of the salary; workers are never paid with pay slip that ought to itemize how their net pay were arrived at. If workers go on sick leave, it would be deemed by the management as being absent from work, and thereby forfeit their pay for the period. Worse still, the company does not take full responsibility of workers that have industrial accidents in the course of work. Workers operate in a very inhuman condition and are brutally denied rights to form or belong to a trade union. All efforts by the workers to form a union have been crushed.

CDWR calls on workers to reorganize with the aim to identify a new leadership that are bold enough and trusted to lead the struggle.

The CDWR calls on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and industrial unions especially the National Union of Chemical, Footwear, Rubber, Leather and Non Metallic Products Employees (NUCFRLANMPE) to intervene in the plight of the workers of Dura Pack. We call for picketing of the company and many others that violate Nigerian labour laws, subject workers to inhuman treatment and deny workers rights to trade union, living wage and decent condition.


1. Increment in salary to be negotiated with workers and agreed upon.

2. Regularisation of workers through issuance of letter of employment to all workers and agree with workers on a new condition of service.

3. Well structured and documentation of salary including payment of workers with pay slips.

4. Immediate and unconditional recall of sacked/locked out workers.

5. An end to victimization of workers.

6. Adequate safety tools to be provided for all workers.

7. All workers must have a right to proceed on annual leave or sick leave without loss of pay.